last half of the 16-century and the beginning of the 17-century are known as
the Golden Age of English literature. It was the time of the English
Renaissance and sometimes it is even called “The age of Shakespeare”.
Shakespeare, the greatest and the most famous of English writers and probably
the greatest playwright, who has ever lived, was born in Stratford-upon-Avon.
In spite of his fame, we know very little about his life. The things that we
know about Shakespeare’s life begin with the date, where he was baptised in
the church of Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564, when he was only few days old. So
he believed he was born on the 23 of April 1564.
parents were John and Mary Shakespeare. His mother was the daughter of a
farmer. His father was a glove-maker.
the 16 century Stratford-upon-Avon was a commercial town, surrounded by rich
farmlands. Its markets attracted people from miles around. The names of some
streets tell us today what was made or sold in these streets, for example
Sheep street, or Wood street. John Shakespeare came to Stratford to find his
fortune. With the money he made he bought a house on Henley Street. He also
married well. His wife came from rather rich family.
went to a grammar school in Stratford and had quite good education. There he
learned to love reading. While still a teenager, William married Anne Hathaway,
a farmer’s daughter some years older than himself. During some years
three children were born: Susannah, the eldest, then two twins – a son,
Hamnet and another girl, Judith.
1587 Shakespeare went to work in London, leaving Anne and the children at home.
We don’t know exactly why he did it. Some people that the reason was his
love of poetry and theater. But there is another story, which says that he had
run away from law because he killed some deer belonging to a rich man.
London Shakespeare began Shakespeare to act and to write plays and soon became
an important member of a well-known acting company. Most of his plays were
performed in the new Globe Theater built on the bank of the River Themes.
experience as an actor helped him greatly in the writing of his plays.
Shakespeare wrote 37 plays. Among them there are deep tragedies such as “Hamlet”,
“Othello”, “King Lear”, “Macbeth”, “Romeo and Juliet”, light
comedies, such as “The comedy of errors”, “As you like it”, historical
dramas such as “Henry 4”, “Richard 3”. Most of Shakespeare’s plays
were not published
his lifetime. In 1613 he stopped writing and went to live in Stratford where
he died on 23 April 1616. It’s interesting that he died on his birthday.
hundred years later his plays are still acted – not only in England, but
also in the whole world.